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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marks Ramsey's evolution as a popular artist
After 1965's In Crowd Ramsey Lewis started capitalizing on his appeal to a wider audience and this album contains a 1965 live performance and a 1966 studio album that clearly show that evolution. Some purists and jazz snobs probably turn up their noses at his musical direction, but he broke out of the mold that held superb trios like the Red Garland Trio, The Three...
Published on June 28, 2012 by Mike Tarrani

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3.0 out of 5 stars pop(ular) jazz
Jazz musicians have always used pop material for improvisation. The main melody is the head, and it's all tied together at the end. The problem here is that there's too much of it. It all sounds the same.

I like Ramsey Lewis in small doses. He has a number of "greatest hits" collections in print from his days on the Chess label. Unless you're a rabid...
Published 22 months ago by Drink Me


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marks Ramsey's evolution as a popular artist, June 28, 2012
This review is from: Hang on Ramsey / Wade in the Water (Audio CD)
After 1965's In Crowd Ramsey Lewis started capitalizing on his appeal to a wider audience and this album contains a 1965 live performance and a 1966 studio album that clearly show that evolution. Some purists and jazz snobs probably turn up their noses at his musical direction, but he broke out of the mold that held superb trios like the Red Garland Trio, The Three Sounds and Wynton Kelly's excellent trios in obscurity. The reason is Lewis embraced popular tastes while the others would not stray far from their jazz roots.

After my tirade about not straying from jazz, the first nine tracks are from a live performance at one of the West Coast's biggest jazz hotspots. So much for catering to popular tastes, right? Actually, Lewis does by leading out with Hard Day's Night and the audience response indicates that they highly approve. Granted, much of the performance is comprised of jazz standards ranging from Real Gone Guy to Satin Doll (both of which are among my favorite tracks), he does slip some pop into the mix and ends with Hand On Sloopy.

Personally I think this is one of the strongest performances of the trio - studio or live - and I like it more than their At the Bohemian Caverns in Washington Dc (Reis) performance. One thing I noticed is the drummer, Red Holt, had an aggressive style that I never noticed on his other albums. I normally prefer piano trio drummers to be in the background, but his style works and especially on this album. The bassist, Eldee Young, was simply superb on this album (to my ears, anyway.) This would be Holt's and Young's last album with Lewis. These tracks were recorded live at The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, California between October 14-17, 1965.

The remaining ten tracks on the album is from the 1966 studio album titled Wade in Water. Lewis has replaced Holt and Young with Maurice White on drums and Cleveland Eaton on bass. He added horns to this album and used songs that were very popular at the time. This approach increased his popularity and won him a Grammy in the process.

Aside from dipping into traditional gospel with Wade in the Water, Lewis did an excellent job with Stevie Wonder's Uptight (Everything's Alright) and Marvin Gaye's Ain't That Peculiar. That certainly expanded to appeal to Motown fans. He also included the Beatle's Day tripper, further expanding the appeal.

Note, the Wade in Water portion of this album does not have the same track sequence as the original, so if you are replacing an old vinyl copy with this CD, then you should note that. The original sequence was:

Side 1
Wade in the Water
Ain't That Peculiar
Tobacco Road
Money in the Pocket
Message to Michael

Side 2
Uptight (Everything's Alright)
Hold It Right There
Day Tripper
Mi Compasion
Hurt So Bad

If you are a Ramsey Lewis fan then this is an excellent set of albums that have been combined into a value pack. If your favorite period is encompassed within these albums and his earlier work I highly recommend that you also check out In Person 1960-1967.
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4.0 out of 5 stars hang on!, March 12, 2013
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This review is from: Hang on Ramsey / Wade in the Water (Audio CD)
my parents used to play these albums big time when i was growing up. Sounds just as fresh today. Mr. Lewis plays with impeccable timing and skill, and the other musicians are top notch. An absolute treasure.
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3.0 out of 5 stars pop(ular) jazz, October 21, 2012
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This review is from: Hang on Ramsey / Wade in the Water (Audio CD)
Jazz musicians have always used pop material for improvisation. The main melody is the head, and it's all tied together at the end. The problem here is that there's too much of it. It all sounds the same.

I like Ramsey Lewis in small doses. He has a number of "greatest hits" collections in print from his days on the Chess label. Unless you're a rabid Ramsey Lewis fan, any of those will float your boat.
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5.0 out of 5 stars HANG ON RAMSEY & WADE IN THE WATER, October 9, 2011
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JOSEPH SANDERS (CLARKSTON, MI, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hang on Ramsey / Wade in the Water (Audio CD)
THIS CD WAS EXECLLENT AND QUITE THE TYPICAL RAMSEY LEWIS STYLE. OVERALL THIS CD WAS VERY ENJOYABLE AND I WILL BE ORDERING ANOTHE """RAMSEY""" SOON
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ramsey Lewis-- Hang On Ramsey / Wade In The Water, August 16, 2011
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This review is from: Hang on Ramsey / Wade in the Water (Audio CD)
The Ramsey Lewis combo cd set is great for the price. I enjoyed Hang on Ramsey which was new to me, but really liked Wade in the Water, due to having the lp version. Fans that love Ramsey Lewis this is a great item at a good price.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Ramsey!, February 6, 2011
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This review is from: Hang on Ramsey / Wade in the Water (Audio CD)
Mi Compasion, Hurt So Bad, Day Tripper so many memories! This is a classic must have Ramsey Lewis from the 60's.
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4.0 out of 5 stars When Ramsey was starting to hit his stride, May 31, 2010
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Siriam (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hang on Ramsey / Wade in the Water (Audio CD)
I had the LP "Wade in the Water" shortly after release as a long sought after 60s soul fave and so this CD double release allowed me to revisit what seemed so great at the time. True to form the Wade LP is the killer still - the title track still cooks rounded out with great brass and sounding like it was recorded live in the studio. It is complemented by the variety of other soul hit covers "Ain't that peculiar" and "Uptight", plus Ramsey's long love affair with Beatles interpretations continues with "Daytripper" , and other hit favourites of that period with new jazz songs notably Joe Zawinul's "Money in the pocket". The LP shows the hits coming faster after the early foray of over a year before with "The In Crowd". Notably the LP avoids older show songs and standards that had filled nearly all Lewis's earlier recordings.

Compared with this star recording the earlier live club recording "Hang on Ramsey" with just the trio playing seems in retrospect the crossover album to "Wade". This has two great Beatles songs "A Hard Days Night" and "I love her" plus the balance being a mix of other contemporary favourites (the best being a crowd rousing "Hang on Sloopy") and older show songs and standards (notably " Ellington's Satin Doll").

From here on, it was only going to get better across the 60s at least for this great musician.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ramsey At His Finest, April 24, 2007
By 
Robert Watson (Redding California USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hang on Ramsey / Wade in the Water (Audio CD)
If you're a fan of Ramsey Lewis, don't miss this CD. Hot!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "RAMSEY", February 27, 2012
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This review is from: Hang on Ramsey / Wade in the Water (Audio CD)
My Mother had the WADE IN THE WATER album in the 60's and it too was one of my favorite one to listen to, and again, i could never find it on CD. I do have both of these albums on Reel to Reel but my player has been out of commission for a few years now, so i'm looking for alot of my music on CDs.
If you are a true Jazz lover of 50's & 60's, Ramsey Lewis is a must. His renditions of populare tunes of the time, as well as older songs, are of exculent performances. Jazz On Ramsey Lovers and for those who are just now experiencing him, this is an excellent one for your collection. Thnx for your eyes on this one, And Happy Listening.

Michael B. VA
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Hang on Ramsey / Wade in the Water
Hang on Ramsey / Wade in the Water by Ramsey Lewis (Audio CD - 1993)
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